Type inspections for Python

typing, function, annotations, type, hints, hinting, checking, checker, typehints, typehinting, typechecking, inspect, reflection, introspection
pip install typing-inspect-lib==0.0.1


Typing Inspect Lib

Build Status

Allows type inspections for the typing and typing_extensions libraries. Works in Python 2.7 and 3 - Python 3.5.0+ is supported.

This library is designed to ease use in all Python versions, and so functions like get_typing return multiple types. The rational for this comes in three parts:

  1. Different versions of Python change what types they hold. Take __origin__, which changed from returning typing types (e.g. typing.Mapping) to class types (e.g. collections.abc.Mapping) in Python 3.7.
    Meaning the function get_origin would have version incompatibilities between 3.7 and other versions of Python.
  2. Different versions of Python contain different information. Take __extra__, which was removed in Python 3.7.
    Meaning there isn't an easy way to get the typing type from a get_origin function in Python 3.7. And the result from a get_extra function is always None.
  3. Internally converting to and from typing and class types is easy. Meaning there's little overhead to returning all the available types.

And so your code can focus on using the type information you need, rather than having to check version incompatibilities. Whilst the library is designed to reduce version incompatibility it doesn't guarantee that there is none. Please look at Python compatibility to see which are known.


Currently the following functions are supported:

  • get_typing
  • get_args
  • get_parameters
  • get_type_info
  • get_type_var_info
  • get_bases
  • get_mro
  • get_mro_orig
  • (WIP) build_types


This returns the typing type and the class type of the type passed to it.

from typing import Mapping, Union
import collections.abc

from typing_inspect_lib import get_typing

typing_, class_ = get_typing(Mapping[str, int])
assert typing_ is Mapping
assert class_ is collections.abc.Mapping

# Not all types have custom classes
typing_, class_ = get_typing(Union[str, int])
assert typing_ is Union
assert class_ is Union


This returns the arguments stored in the type provided.

from typing import Mapping, Union
from typing_inspect_lib import get_args

assert get_args(Mapping) == ()
assert get_args(Mapping[str, int]) == (str, int)
assert get_args(Mapping[Union[str, int], int]) == (Union[str, int], int)


This returns the parameters stored in the type provided.

from typing import Mapping, TypeVar
from typing_inspect_lib import get_parameters

TKey = TypeVar('TKey')
TValue = TypeVar('TValue')

assert get_parameters(Mapping[str, int]) == ()
assert get_parameters(Mapping[TKey, TValue]) == (TKey, TValue)


This returns all the type information for a type.

from typing import Mapping, TypeVar
from typing_inspect_lib import get_type_info
import collections

TKey = TypeVar('TKey')
type_ = get_type_info(Mapping[TKey, int])

assert type_ == (Mapping, collections.abc.Mapping, (int,), (TKey,))
assert type_.typing == Mapping
assert type_.class_ == collections.abc.Mapping
assert type_.args == (int,)
assert type_.parameters == (TKey,)


This returns all the information stored in the TypeVar provided.

from typing import Mapping, TypeVar
from typing_inspect_lib import get_parameters, get_type_var_info

TExample = TypeVar('TExample', bound=int)
t_example = get_type_var_info(TExample)

assert t_example == ('TExample', int, False, False)
assert t_example.name == 'TExample'
assert t_example.bound == int
assert not t_example.covariant
assert not t_example.contravariant

# Using this with unwrapped typing types
assert get_parameters(Mapping) != ()
mapping_parameters = tuple(get_type_var_info(p) for p in get_parameters(Mapping))
assert (('KT', None, False, False), ('VT_co', None, True, False)) == mapping_parameters


Gets the bases of the type, returns the typing type, class type and orig type.

This returns different values in different versions of Python. The below is Python 3.7.

from typing import Mapping, Collection
from collections import abc

from typing_inspect_lib import get_bases

assert get_bases(Mapping) == ((Collection, abc.Collection, None),)
assert get_bases(abc.Mapping) == ((Collection, abc.Collection, None),)
assert get_bases(Mapping[int, int]) == ((Collection, abc.Collection, Collection[int]),)


Gets the mro of the type. Returning them as class types.

Builtin types are converted to their class type to get the MRO and so Generic may be missing.

This returns different values in different versions of Python. The below is Python 3.7.

from typing import Mapping
from collections import abc

from typing_inspect_lib import get_mro

mro = (
assert get_mro(Mapping) == mro
assert get_mro(abc.Mapping) == mro
assert get_mro(Mapping[int, str]) == mro

(WIP) build_types

This builds the type object in, soon to be, easy to use classes.

from typing import Mapping, Union
import collections.abc

from typing_inspect_lib import build_types

type_ = build_types(Mapping[Union[str, int], int])
assert type_.typing is Mapping
assert type_.class_ is collections.abc.Mapping
assert type_.args[0].typing is Union
assert type_.args[0].args[0].typing is str

Python compatibility

Incompatibilities between versions

  • <3.5.[0-1]> Passing get_args(typing_extensions.Counter[T]) returns (T, int) rather than (T,).
  • Some parameters change between versions:
    • <3.5.2> typing.Type is CT, rather than CT_co. (It is still covariant and bound to type)
      FIX: typing_extensions.Type works fine.
    • <3.5.[0-1]> typing.ItemsView is T_co, KT, VT_co rather than KT, VT_co.
    • <3.5.[0-1]> typing_extensions.Coroutine is V_co, T_co, T_contra rather than T_co, T_contra, T_co.
  • Due to changes in collections.abc the following functions return different results in different Python versions:
    • get_bases
    • get_mro
    • get_mro_orig

Compatibility objects

Help! I'm using Python 3.5.1 and 3.6 and don't have access to typing.ClassVar in 3.5.1. What do I do?
There are two ways to fix this:

  1. Install typing_extensions and use typing_extensions.ClassVar.

    This is the preferred method, as this allows you to use ClassVar just the same way you would with typing.

    from typing import Union
    from typing_extensions import ClassVar
    from typing_inspect_lib import get_type_info
    assert get_type_info(Union).typing is not ClassVar
    assert get_type_info(ClassVar).typing is ClassVar
    assert get_type_info(ClassVar[int]).typing is ClassVar
  2. You can use ClassVar_ exported by typing_inspect_lib.

    This defaults to just an object(), and so should only be used to on the right hand side of get_special_object checks:

    from typing import Union
    from typing_inspect_lib import get_type_info, ClassVar_
    assert get_type_info(Union).typing is not ClassVar_
    assert get_type_info(ClassVar_).typing is ClassVar_
    assert get_type_info(ClassVar_[int]).typing is ClassVar_ # Error in 3.5.1

When should I use these compatibility objects?

This depends on if you have typing_extensions installed. For the most part if you have it installed then you shouldn't need to use these. These also only affect older Python versions. Below is the list of when you may need to use these objects.

typing_extensions is installed:

  • <3.5.0> Protocol_

typing_extensions isn't installed:

  • <2.x & 3.x> Protocol_
  • <2.x & 3.x> NewType_
  • <3.5.[0-2]> ClassVar_